When onboarding new employees, we often rush through the paperwork so employees can get started with training and on to performing their jobs. They are often handed stacks of paper that include requests for basic demographic information, W-4s and benefit enrollment forms. However, one of the most important forms that new employees need to complete is Form I-9. This form is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired in the United States. A revised version of Form I-9 has been released. Here Is What You Need to Know!
Running a successful financial institution in today’s market can be a challenge. Increased regulations, heightened competition and a fluctuating economy make it a tough and complicated job. However, many financial institutions have discovered that using bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) can help make that job a bit easier. BOLI can be used for various business purposes, including to cover the costs of employee benefits and to recover losses associated with the death of a key executive. Under this arrangement, the bank purchases life insurance on a select group of key employees, with the bank named beneficiary on the policies. Originally, BOLI was often combined with a new benefit plan for senior bank executives, but more recently, banks are utilizing BOLI to offset the rising cost of existing employee benefit expenses. So how can banks use BOLI to strengthen their overall business plan? You’re about to find out.
You don’t have to watch the news for long to know that gun violence is a serious problem in the United States. What many people aren’t aware of is that nearly half of all active shooter events occur in a place of business. This alarming statistic should serve as a wake-up call for business owners. Does your business have terrorism insurance in the event of workplace violence?
Could the future of certain pension plans be in danger? That’s what some experts are speculating as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 begins to roll out increases on insurance premiums for single-employer defined benefit pension plans. Annual premiums are charged by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal agency that insures private-sector pension plans against default. These premium increases can be treated as revenue gains for the government and are often used to raise money when needed. As 2017 gets underway, pension plan sponsors should become familiar with the scheduled increases and consider strategies to manage or reduce the overall impact of these annual premiums.
In 1980, amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) brought plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations into ERISAs church plan definition, but it left unclear whether a church-affiliated organization could establish a church plan. In several lawsuits, participants in retirement plans maintained by church-affiliated hospitals asserted that the plans did not qualify for the exemption – and thus were subject to ERISAs vesting, reporting and disclosure, funding, trust and fiduciary rules – because they had not been established by a church. The Third, Seventh and Ninth Circuits agreed with the participants and ruled that the hospital plans were subject to ERISA.
Stage two of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now underway as focus shifts to the Senate, where significant changes are expected to be made to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as passed by the House. Regardless of what happens next, employers need to know what is in the House-passed version in order to evaluate the potential impact if it becomes law (whether significantly revised or not).
Change is inevitable – we hear this all the time. While I’m not aware of any mandate that says as much, it often seems that change correlates with the moment we finally get comfortable doing something a certain way. Over time I’ve learned to accept Pluto's demotion, but it seems counting the planets in our solar system at eight was premature. With each New Year, I eventually start writing the correct date on my checks. My children have all come with new, fluctuating guidelines on when to introduce peanut butter. Change can be frustrating, but we learn to adapt.
Remember that story about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf? It had an important message, but as children we were probably just relieved to learn that one of the pigs outsmarted the big bad wolf. As you may recall, the old fable was about three little pigs who were each building a house. The first little pig quickly built a house of straw, while the second little pig built a house of sticks. The third little pig worked hard all day to build a house of bricks. One day, the big bad wolf paid them all a visit. He huffed and puffed and quickly blew the straw and stick houses down. The big bad wolf then found the third little pig’s house. He huffed and he puffed, but he couldn’t blow down the strong house made of brick. Determined to get in, the big bad wolf climbed on the roof and slid down the chimney, but the third little pig had a cauldron of boiling water waiting on the fire and the wolf met his demise. The lesson was simple, but significant. A little hard work and preparation can pay off.